The Art of Simplicity

The Art of Simplicity can turn one’s life around for the greater gain.
Peace for ‘turmoil of lack’
Joy for a ‘scattered mind
Love for ‘confused and afraid’
Hope for ‘sad’
Light for ‘darkness’
I have for ‘I have not’
Courage for ‘fear’
‘Simplicity of Life’ to me is like black-strap molasses flavoring and coloring my cookies of choice.

I think of simplicity of life with joy overflowing from the inner life. When I see a lemon I think sweet lemonade and my taste buds go into motion. When I see a marshmallow I think open fire, hot chocolate, laughs and fun. Snow, I think of homemade snow-cream, cold, rich with can milk and very rare. When I see a chicken I think of fried chicken, eggs and the many ways they come as well as Chickenfarmer. I see the ‘art of simplicity’ as illumination from within.
When I think of “The Art of Simplicity” I see and live a day without pride. A healthy heart being heart smart and beaming over with love. Happy eyes that go here and there spotting new and old colors to shade my art of joyful expressions.
Simplicity is a gift. A gift to have and a gift to give. A gift that comes straight from the heart. A gift to be free and live free. We have been born free!
“A man stopped Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” Jesus said, “Why do you question me about what’s good? God is the One who is good. If you want to enter the life of God, just do what he tells you.” The man asked, “What in particular?” Jesus said, “Don’t murder, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t lie, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as you do yourself.” The young man said, “I’ve done all that. What’s left?” “If you want to give it all you’ve got,” Jesus replied, “go sell your possessions; give everything to the poor. All your wealth will then be in heaven. Then come follow me.” That was the last thing the young man expected to hear. And so, crest-fallen, he walked away. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and he couldn’t bear to let go. (Matthew 19:16 -22 Message)

Many times I am much like this man I don’t want to give up my wealth of worry, stress, fear, sadness, financial security, and many other complicated things on my list of ‘worldly wealth’, just so I can live free and eternally! All my wealth could be in heaven.” What in the world was Jesus talking about, all our wealth in heaven? Part of what He was saying; when your wealth is in heaven, your thoughts are heavenly and delightful. When your wealth is in heaven your fears, sadness, tears, darkness, confused and scattered minds are all in heaven and you are free to choose to live free because you were born again to be free. You are full of wisdom, knowledge, peace, love, joy, happiness and health and wealth.

Jesus had a great answer for the ones that questioned His counsel with this young man. In verses 26, Jesus says. “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Let’s keep it simple in 2008. “The Art of Simplicity” knows no unbelief for it’s primary color is Faith. Our Faith in Jesus and His teachings can turn our life around for the greater gain.



11 thoughts on “The Art of Simplicity”

  1. This is lovely and delightful, Sara.
    Jesus said,”Unless you become as a little child (innocent and still without guile) you cannot see the Kingdom of Heaven.” That Scripture makes me think of my little Kindergarteners, as they process into my room each day; joyful, trusting, eager to learn (FOR THE MOST PART); looking at me with wide eyes to see what little treasure or pleasure I have prepared for their lesson, today. They trust me to impart to them knowledge and learning. They have not quite yet become jaded and cynical about the educational process, which happens in some children, only a short time later in their development. They SIMPLY trust. If I sing a funny song they are delighted. If I show them a little dance, they quickly capture it and add their own twist to it, some of them showing the innate creative movement within their little souls, that DNA of giftedness in a certain field that has been given them by the Master Creator, The Lord Jesus Christ, out of love and compassion for these little innocent beings. They believe me and they have faith that what I speak to them is the truth. They, in their simplicity of faith, radiate the virtue of honesty when I must confront them concerning their actions or behavior. I suggest to them that they must answer from their hearts and not try to deceive or not tell the truth. These little ones seem to soul search and almost invariably, in the almost 100 children of this age group that I teach, they are faithful to their little hearts and tell me the truth,(which I have observed as the teacher and overseer of the class, to be so)
    Oh, to live a life of “childlikeness”! Not encumbered by the material things whether objects or position but
    trusting the Lord Jesus, as Sara talked about. My younger students are set before me as an example. Their innocence is disarming and often, out of the mouths of babes….( God has perfected my praise as I praise Him for these little squirmy, wiggly treasures of human life entrusted to me for such a short time. Childlike examples for me to emulate. Simplicity!

  2. In Matthew 18, Jesus teaches about humility of spirit in saying, “Truly, unless you repent and change your mind about YOUR way of thinking and doing and become like a little child, in humbleness, trust and simplicity you cannot enter the Kingdom. And whoever receives the humble, simplistic, unencumbered ones for MY sake, is greatest in the Kingdom. But WOE to those who teach these “little ones” to stumble and sin in right conduct and thought! it would be better that the enticer(s) be thrown into the sea.”
    I have seen books written for children that present in a favorable light, propaganda that goes directly against the WORD of GOD, that teaches through cartoon-like pictures, actions and ways of thinking that are diametrically opposed to the teachings of JESUS CHRIST. These books are on teachers’ recommended lists for classroom consumption, sanctioned and endorsed by noted authors and child counselors and presented as “truths”.
    Jesus Christ says, “WOE”.
    What a greater responsibility we have as teachers for that’s what Paul teaches. We have the greater responsibility …not only the GOSPEL TEACHERS but the teachers of the LITTLE ONES. Jesus Christ warns us to be careful how we instruct the little ones, ‘for their angels, the ones sent to guard and protect them, are in the presence of the FATHER and always do behold the face of the Father and have communication with HIM concerning these little ones.’
    This is also a great commission.

  3. MG, your comments make me think of the scripture below. I have been studying this one scripture for months now. It seems difficult as parents/teachers to want to deal with the meat of life when the milk is just sooooo good. Like I said snow cream with can milk is sure better for me than dealing with Christopher’s hard math. I love this quote from a talking Barbie doll, “Math is hard, let’s go shopping”

    Hebrews 5:12 NKJV “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.”

  4. This blog of Sara’s is for me a written form of an architectural’ style of simplicity that has clean lines, no clutter, allows the interplay of light and that forms a green building structure or backdrop for color and focalized artistic expressions.
    The elements of ‘fears, sadness, tears, darkness, confused and scattered minds’ just are not compatible with a building design like this. Yet I envision ‘wisdom, knowledge, peace, love, joy, happiness and health and wealth’ flourishing in this environment.
    Sara’s design elements she gives us above seem clear, black and white…. “If you want to enter the life of God, just do what he tells you.” That’s really what Chickenfarmer was saying in her blog “…Too Big for Our Britches.” Don’t question it, reason about it, etc…just do the teachings of Jesus Christ. It sounds simple enough. But it is a choice and choices are often difficult for many of us. Paul tells us in 2 Cor. 11:3 to be cautious of what doctrines and ‘gospel’ we use to build our structural foundation. Apparently we become corrupted when we stray from this ‘simplicity that is in Christ’. I think we exchange simplicity for complexity when we won’t let go, as Sara puts it, of our “worldy wealth of worry, stress, fear, sadness, financial security, and many other complicated things”. As I read and reread this blog, it looks as if she is giving us a pattern for building that is an ‘Art of Simplicity’. One that will allow us to be free, a ‘holy temple in the Lord…built together for a dwelling place of God in the spirit.” (Eph 2:22). I pray that I, for one, will be able to build accordingly.

  5. Genesis 14: 12 “They also captured Lot – Abram’s nephew who lived in Sodom – and carried off everything he owned.” Footnotes: “Lot’s greedy desire for the best of everything led him into sinful surroundings. His burning desire for possessions and success cost him his freedom and enjoyment. As a captive to Kedorlaomer, he faced torture, slavery, or death. In much the same way, we can be enticed into doing things or going places we shouldn’t. The prosperity we long for is captivating; it
    can both entice us and enslave us if our motives are not in line with God’s desires”

    Genesis 19:16 “When Lot still hesitated, the angels seized his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters and rushed them to safety outside the city, for the Lord was merciful”.
    Footnotes: “Lot hesitated, so the angel seized his hand and rushed him to safety. Lot did not want to abandon the wealth, position, and comfort he enjoyed in Sodom. It is easy to criticize Lot for being hypnotized by
    Sodom when the choice seems so clear to us. To be wiser than Lot, we must see that our hesitation to obey stems from the false attractions of our culture’s pleasures”.

    If we could only grasp and APPLY this “art of simiplicity” to life, and refuse to be “hypnotized” by the wealth and possessions of this world,
    we may have the “greater gain”.

  6. Needles, what a thought provoking story. Moral of this story ‘a burning desire for possessions and success’ cost Lot his freedom and enjoyment. So very strange we are looking for freedom and enjoyment and we take our freedom and trade it in for slavery and all it’s entanglements.

    HUM! What would our stories be?

  7. Sara this is such a deep and colorful.. thought provoking blog you have placed up and what Needles has written response to……yes we need to make 2008 a year of simplicity….and with Jesus teachings if we abide by them we can do it….and have that true feedom….with Heavenly gain and having delighted ourselves in Him..Jesus…”we will be given our hearts desires.. Psalms 37;4″……as He sees fit to give…John 8;31 says”If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free…vs.36…If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”…Freedom..All the things listed,love, hope,Light having, courage..all those wonderful things you wrote about Sara…simplicity…and we can have it and do it if we just stay with God……and be obedient to His instructions…dj

  8. As an addend to what Needles wrote: Yes, not only was LOT intrigued with THINGS and possessions and position and trinkets but look at what happened to his wife! She “LOOKED BACK” longingly at what she was forced to leave behind and she was destroyed…a pillar of salt!!
    Jesus says, ” No man, having put his hand to the plow and then LOOKING BACK (in yearning and longing for the OLD fleshly life) is fit for the KINGDOM OF GOD.”
    When you look back….you plow unevenly; lose your focus; your heart is not in sowing and harvesting but in the fleshly desires…things; goods; properties; possessions; toys; trinkets;
    One of TV preachers gives his own testimony that after the Lord started prospering them through Biblical principles, they were able to buy a place to retreat to when they were not giving crusades. It was quite lovely but with the very little time they had between meetings there were large lawns to mow, gates to repair, shrubs to trim and painting of house and barns, and repairing of machinery used in the upkeep. He said as they approached their retreat house, rushing to get to work on their property, they would pass by an elderly neighbor, just “a-sittin'” on his front stoop, a- rockin’ and a-hummin’ and he would wave happily at them with a big smile. The TV minister said that there was a reason that neighbor was so happy. He didn’t have a nice spread like we did, but he also did not have the care of upkeep and repair and enlargement. His life was simple and unadorned. But he was as happy as a lark.
    That elderly neighbor had learned the secret of the simple, unattached-to-stuff life. Simple but TRUE!

  9. Gensis 2:15-17 “15 The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. 16 But the Lord God warned him,”You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden- 17 except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.”
    God made this as simple as possible. He gave Adam a job. Adam’s job is to tend and watch over the garden. Adam didn’t have to water the garden, God took care of this Gen. 2:10″ A river watered the garden and then flowed out Eden and divided into four branches.” All Adam had to do was walk around the garden, tend to it and watch over it. This is not complicated. This is simple. God made it very easy for Adam. Adam was a very blessed man. God didn’t want Adam to be alone, so he created Eve. (Genesis 2:21-22) Adam and Eve understood their job in the garden. They also understood the ONE rule that their creater gave them. DO NOT EAT THE FRUIT OF THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL. God gave them a simple rule and told them the consequences if they broke this rule. IF YOU EAT OF THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL, YOU ARE SURE TO DIE. Simple. Adam and Eve didn’t ask God any questions. They knew that they were to leave this tree alone. They didn’t ask God “what was the definition of die?” They just excepted the fact that they were to leave it alone. Then here comes Satan. Gen 3:1-6 “The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the women,”Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden? 2″Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,”the women replied. 3 “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die,'”4 “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the women. 5″God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” 6 The women was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and SHE WANTED THE WISDOM it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.” Eve and Adam disobeyed God’s one rule. Eve was decieved by Satan’s clever words. Satan convinced her that God would not let her die. She wanted wisdom. She made her life more complicated by “wanting more than what she had.” Adam didn’t argue with her. She gave him the fruit and he ate it. Adam and Eve took a simple life and made it complicated. God gave them everything that they needed and more, but it wasn’t enough. God gave them one rule and a choice to obey or disobey. God didn’t want to control his children, he gave them a choice. A choice to eat or not to eat the forbidden fruit. A choice of simple paradise or complicated hardships. A choice of life forever or death. God gives us simple rules and a choice to except them and obey them or disobey them. He gives us a choice of eternal life or death. Let’s keep it simple and choose LIFE!

  10. This was a good wake-up call for Sunday morning and for life challenging decisions. I think I will be like Joshua and say, “as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

    Joshua 24:15 “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

    Chickenfarmer, when you word it like you just did either way it is a simple choice. Joshua goes on to say in vs. 19, that you can’t choose to worship God unless you experience a radical change of heart. He says God will not honor just lip service, He demands a way of life.

    When we realize all we have to lose is misery and lack of goodness, gentleness, compassion, love, joy and peace
    we will leap into Faith and karate chop disbelief.

    Let’s get on with life, stop the drama and go for the “Chicken Kick.” Well, Karate experts I really mean the “Chickenfarmer Kick.”

  11. Oh for simplicity. How beautiful each voice represented above as I sit here and contemplate all that has been discussed. Oh for simplicity! Then I arise and go out into the market place and hopefully the execution of the “chicken kick” will keep the worry, fear from breaking my stride. May love, joy, peace be seen in me. May I stand and with stand as those who come to snuff out the love, joy, and peace for such light is not their joy and the glare from you does quite annoy them. The giants of fear, stress, financial insecurity are suddenly thrown at our feet. Will we step into the mucky muck or will we hold on to our faith and step aside and continue our walk with love, joy, and peace. The bible tells us in Isaiah 7:9…If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all. Thus we hold on to our faith and cling to the promise in Isaiah 40:31 …those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.” They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” We thus manage to skirt the mucky muck caste at our feet and stand tall on the other side with love, joy, peace still in tack.

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